The Warrandyte Community Association, in conjunction with Friends of Nillumbik and The Green Wedge Protection Group, has decided to appeal Council’s decision to allow a development at Lot 2 Pigeon Bank Road. The surprise decision of Council to ignore the expert officers report has meant that a rear-guard campaign has to be organised said WCA President Dick Davies. The community groups are going to support the residents who have objected to the proposal and take a case to the Victorian and Administrative Appeals Tribunal ( VCAT ).
A solicitor and barrister have been appointed to help with the case.
At its meeting on 14th March 2017 the new Nillumbik Council granted planning permission for a dwelling on Lot 2 Pigeon Bank Road, North Warrandyte – despite the recommendation from Council Officers that the application be refused. The proposed development is contrary to the purpose of the Rural Conservation Zone and the planning regulations of the Green Wedge. It is on a block that does not a carry an automatic right to build and which is smaller than the current minimum subdivision. While there have been some developments on small lots in this zone most are on open land.
This land is heavily treed and steep. The report of the Royal Commission into the 2009 bushfires recommended against housing in such inaccessible areas because of the risk to residents. The proposed development consequently seeks to remove a very large portion of the vegetation, including over 740 trees. This clearing will also have adverse consequences for fauna which will lose essential habitat.
This decision sets a very bad precedent. It is bad planning and indicates a worrisome disregard for the planning requirements of the Green Wedge and the Rural conservation Zone within the wedge.